We offer the following suggestions for locating therapists in your area who specialize in treating clients with sexual concerns and/or difficulties with intimate relationships. Once you reach a therapist by phone it is perfectly acceptable to ask about the therapist’s education, licensure, methods of treatment, fees, and whether they work with surrogate partners.
1. Look in the yellow pages of your local phone book under “counseling”, “psychology”, “psychotherapy”, and “marriage counseling”. Some therapist listings may indicate a specialty in sex therapy. Not all therapists with special training this area advertise that specialty, so you need not restrict yourself to only calling therapists who mention sex therapy. It is in your best interests to inquire about the therapists experience and training regarding your particular issues.
2. Request referrals to therapists and counselors in your area from organizations whose members are sex therapist and counselors. When making your request, be sure to mention that IPSA recommended that you contact them, mention the larger cities in your vicinity and include zip codes and/or telephone area codes of the local towns/cities to which you are willing to travel for therapy.
a) The American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT)
PO Box 238
Mount Vernon, IA 52314
b) The American Board of Sexology (Headquarters in Washington, DC)
Not All therapists are willing to work with surrogate partners and only a very few areas of the country have local surrogates. If you believe that working with a surrogate partner will be the best therapeutic option for you, ask the therapists that you contact:
1) Whether they work with surrogate partners (also known as sex surrogates).
2) If they would be willing to work with you and a surrogate if you together determine that it is appropriate in your case.
3) If there are surrogates working in your state.
If they do not work with surrogates, you may request a referral to therapists who do. It is not uncommon for uninformed therapists to assume that there is something unethical/or illegal about surrogate partner therapy. Despite their good intentions, these assumptions are almost always incorrect.
If you find a local therapist who is willing to supervise your work with a professional surrogate partner but does not know any surrogates, IPSA can help to find a surrogate partner who is willing to travel to your area to work with you and your therapist. Remember you also have the option of traveling to California to work in an Intensive Therapy format. You can learn more about this option from IPSA’s Intensive Therapy brochure.